Public Trust and Collaborative Governance: A Priming Experiment

Yixin Liu

Abstract

Trust in government has attracted much attentions as an important social outcome, but we know little about its effects on citizen-state interactions. In this study, I posit that trust in government may affect citizens’ perceptions of collaborative governance. To test the effect of trust in government accurately and overcome the endogeneity problem of measuring trust in traditional surveys, I proposed an alternative design that uses randomized public integrity information to prime individuals’ levels of trust in government from low to high. In a local environmental program scenario, I tested the effect of this exogenous trust further on several collaborative governance outcomes. The results indicated that trust in government has no effect on public perceptions of either public-private partnerships or public-citizen-partnerships, but it has a positive effect on citizens’ willingness to coproduce. These findings provide new opportunities to study trust in government and offer theoretical implications to help scholars understand collaborative governance better.

Publication
Revise & Resubmit: Public Management Review
Yixin Liu
Yixin Liu
PhD Candidate